Web Puts 2nd Language at Your Fingertips
Online options, from free to pricey, abound
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2010 11:54 AM CST
Rosetta Stone's products aren't cheap but do offer multiple learning options.   (Rosetta Stone)

(Newser) – The days of chanting vocabulary words in a classroom and dozing off in the language lab are fading from memory as language instruction becomes increasingly available on the Internet. Freestanding smartphone apps are one option, and more structured instruction comes at a price—and sometimes no price at all. The New York Times looks at some of the numerous options.

  • Pay up: Play online games, talk to "modern-day pen pals," and take advantage of speech-recognition software offered by companies such as Rosetta Stone and TellMeMore.
  • Pay for extras: Basic access to Livemocha is free, and Babbel offers one class for no charge.
  • Pay nothing: The BBC, the German TV network Deutsche Welle, and sites teaching the Japanese and Korean alphabets cost nada, niente, rien.